For foodservice operations that own refrigerated display cases, having a display in a state of disrepair can be crippling. That’s why it’s so important to find a refrigerated display case manufacturer that has a committed service department. Here’s why the ORION by Clabo service department is so good.
Mani Pradeep, the national service manager for ORION by Clabo, has more than 25 years of experience with industrial and commercial refrigeration in both the United States and India. Along with a background in food processing equipment, he has served as head of service for ORION by Clabo for more than seven years including oversight of service management, parts, and engineering. Mani is a father of two and lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. He enjoys family time, traveling, and dining.
MANI, TELL US ABOUT CLABO USA FROM A SERVICE DEPARTMENT PERSPECTIVE
Clabo is not like any other refrigeration company. A good amount of our business comes from ice cream and gelato operators. In general, gelato equipment comes from Italy and is a little bit more sophisticated than the average American commodity products, especially because temperature precision and visibility of product are crucial factors for artisan gelato makers
Our factory is in Italy. We manufacture our cases 6,500 miles away, so we cannot count on the factory’s inventory to solve our customers’ issues. That’s why it’s important for us to maintain a healthy amount of parts inventory here in the United States. We have a complete parts arrangement for each one of the models we sell in the U.S., from a screw to the glass. This is for both inventory models and built-to-order models, as well.
Since our cases have to travel a long distance to reach the U.S., we also feel it’s important to go through a secondary quality control here at our facility. I am also in charge of ensuring every piece of equipment that leaves our dock is thoroughly inspected and tested. We use sophisticated refrigeration testing equipment to monitor temperatures and pressures in different areas of our cases.
HOW DO YOU WORK WITH OPERATORS UNDER STRESS WHO NEED THEIR UNITS UP AND RUNNING?
It can be tough. I am very aware that downtime is also money lost and frustration gained. That’s why I focus on resolving the causes for that downtime and frustration. Ever since I have been with this company, my motto has always been to minimize downtime for customers. As a company, from Basilio and Jose to me, we all do our best to avoid service issues and resolve them quickly and efficiently if they occur. Here are some methods:
The Proactive Approach: This involves educating customers on preventative maintenance units. Not only do we try to educate end users, but also consultants and dealers that might not be aware of some of the intricacies that come with refrigerated display cases. This might be related to the actual positioning of the case, optimal temperature and humidity levels, condenser cleaning, or more. Adequate preventative maintenance can prevent a good amount of the service issues we see on a daily basis.
Resolution and Problem Solving: Once a service call comes in, we try to diagnose the problem over the phone along with the operator. If that is not possible, we deploy a service technician to the site, and have them resolve it from there.
WHAT TYPE OF SERVICE COMPANIES DO YOU HAVE?
The bigger service companies might not be familiar with Italian gelato equipment. I have found there can even be a stigma on European equipment by some of these companies or even the equipment dealers. The truth is there might be some differences when it comes to electronic components and controls, but the heart of the units are actually the same.
Typically, we partner up with quality refrigeration technicians who are experienced in the ice cream equipment world. This equipment is usually Italian. These companies tend to be smaller, owner-operated organizations with which we have long-standing relationships. They are usually proficient with installing and maintaining other pieces of equipment such as gelato batch freezers, blast chillers, and soft serve machines.
DO YOU HAVE ANY EXAMPLES OF SUCCESS?
Cold Stone Creamery provided this great testimonial, and I’m happy to share it:
“My kudos goes out to Mani. [He is] extremely responsive, knowledgeable and always a pleasure to talk with. Seriously, I wish more of our industry’s service management followed the responsiveness and path that Mani follows in his daily activities. This is not the first time I have had our franchisee community acknowledge Mani for his fine work. GREAT JOB, sir!”